If you have been convicted in the past of a criminal offense, whether this criminal offense is one of the Criminal Code of Canada or one of another law of criminal nature (for example the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act), you have a criminal record.
Your criminal record doesn't disappear with the passage of time alone, even if many years have past since your conviction and you have not committed any other offense. You have to file a formal application for record suspension (previously called “pardon”) in oder to have your criminal record removed and your good reputation restored.
Having a criminal record could prevent you from occupying certain employment positions, from freely traveling abroad or from sponsoring your family members who are foreign citizens who wish to come and live in Canada.
In Canada, the Parole Board of Canada is the competent government agency to evaluate the applications for record suspension and to grant record suspension to the admissible applicants.
The process of examination of the applications for record suspension consists in several stages:
1) First, you have to calculate correctly the delay after which you are eligible to apply for record suspension. This delay depends of the mode of prosecution chosen by the Crown in your case. If you have been accused and found guilty under the procedure of summary conviction, then you are eligible to apply for record suspension five years after your sentence was completed. If you have been accused and found guilty under the procedure of indictment, then you are eligible to apply for record suspension ten years after your sentence was completed. It is important to correctly calculate this delay, otherwise your application will be returned to you or simply refused.
2) Second, you have to fulfill several steps with different authorities (with the Court in which you have been found guilty and sentenced, with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and with the local police) in order to obtain the necessary verification documents;
3) Third, you have to fill out correctly all the application forms required by the Parole Board of Canada and attach the other mandatory documents;
Me Robert Brankin can assess with you if you are eligible to apply for record suspension and in the affirmative, he can do for you all the necessary steps in order to obtain the necessary verification documents from the competent authorities and fill out for you all the applications forms requested Parole Board of Canada.
If you wish to travel to the United States and in order to avoid being refused admission at the boarder, you can apply for a special permission (waiver).
Me Robert Brankin can file for you an application for record suspension with the Parole Board of Canada or an application for waiver with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The American authorities could refuse admission to the US even if a person has obtained a record suspension (pardon) in Canada, it depends of the seriousness of the offense and all is left to the discretion of the US customs officer.
Me Robert Brankin can present for you the application for record suspension as well as the application for special permission (waiver) to enter in the US.